Efficient Energy America (E2America) announced that Platinum Corral, a multi-state franchise operator of Golden Corral Buffet-Grill restaurants, has signed an agreement to install E2America’s intelligent HVAC control system in all 30 of its stores.

E2America’s automated, self-refining, wireless, retrofit system allows Platinum Corral to reduce both gas and electricity costs, usage, and carbon emissions. As the company installs the E2America technology in all of its locations, Platinum Corral expects to lower its electricity costs by as much as $252,000 annually.

Typically, HVAC systems account for a large portion—in many cases, more than 50 percent—of the total energy used by commercial buildings. As energy costs and consumption have continued to rise over the last several years, Platinum Corral had implemented simple measures in an effort to reduce its utility bills, including scheduled and preventative maintenance on its HVAC compressors. Yet the company was not seeing a significant savings and was typically paying around $9,000 per store every month for gas and electricity costs.

Platinum Corral initially installed the E2America system in five of its Golden Corral restaurants and immediately saw its electricity bills decrease by as much as $700 per store each month. Because the E2America technology is retrofitted, Platinum Corral was able to install the system directly to its existing HVAC units, which included various brands and ranged in age from one to 25 years. The company expects to see a return on investment in approximately 18 months—much faster than other sustainable energy technology.

“As our electricity costs continued to rise year after year, we knew we needed a more aggressive energy efficiency program to see any significant reduction in our usage and costs,” says Billy Sewell, president of Platinum Corral. “It took us a very short period of time to see the benefits in the five initial stores and to realize how much more we could be saving by implementing E2America’s system in all 30 of our restaurants. What’s more, managers in the first five stores have reported that the temperature consistently feels more balanced and therefore much more comfortable for our staff and guests.”

E2America’s system is able to ensure maximum thermal comfort in all areas of a commercial building because the technology not only considers the environment inside a building, but also considers the environment a building is in. It is the only system that takes into account 19 variables, including external weather data, internal and external humidity, solar heat load, and building occupancy to continually monitor, control, and optimize the operation of the building’s HVAC systems.

E2America also worked with Platinum Corral’s utility providers to ensure that the company was able to take advantage of incentive programs offered to businesses that implement energy efficiency measures. Platinum Corral expects to qualify for a $5,000-$8,000 electricity company rebate per store for installing the E2America technology. Additionally, federal legislation changes regarding capital expenditures and accelerated depreciation allow Platinum Corral to write off 100 percent of the remaining balance on its 2011 tax returns. This reduces the effective ROI to less than eight months.

“With no end in sight for rising electricity costs, commercial enterprises in all industries have begun to realize that more needs to be done to reduce their energy costs and usage,” says Dara O’Neill, E2America CEO. “We’re pleased to help Platinum Corral not only save money on its electricity costs, but to also help better optimize its HVAC systems and provide its customers and employees with a more comfortable environment.”

Finance, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Golden Corral